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March 2013


Unsung Heroes of the Washington Public Works Community: The APWA Contract Administration Subcommittee (CASC)

Unsung Heroes of the Washington Public Works Community: The APWA Contract Administration Subcommittee (CASC)

March 29, 2013 by John W. Carpita, PE
Category: Public Works and Utilities

As I stated in an earlier blog post, I am quite "plugged in" to the greater Washington State public works community. I’ve had many opportunities over the years to see and to...

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Are Donations to Local Governments Tax Deductible?

Are Donations to Local Governments Tax Deductible?

March 27, 2013 by Bob Meinig
Category: Revenues

Most donations to local governments are deductible from the donor's federal income taxes. So what information does the local government need to provide to the donor for IRS purposes?

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Email and the OPMA: Key Tips for Local Government Elected Officials

Email and the OPMA: Key Tips for Local Government Elected Officials

March 22, 2013 by Joe Levan
Category: Open Public Meetings Act

At the outset, I recognize that some issues under the Open Public Meetings Act (OPMA) (chapter 42.30 RCW) can be especially challenging for local government elected officials who serve on a three-member governing body, since communications between any two such members can constitute a meeting under the OPMA. But what specific types of communications are we talking about here?

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Creative Use of Emergency Communications Tool Saves Clark County Time and Money

Creative Use of Emergency Communications Tool Saves Clark County Time and Money

March 14, 2013 by Tracy Burrows
Category: Emergency Management

In Clark County, response to a public health emergency sparked a creative solution that's saving time and money. It was an epiphany born out of crisis—the commonplace resource...

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Who Says You Can’t Fight City Hall?

Who Says You Can’t Fight City Hall?

March 6, 2013 by Byron Katsuyama
Category: Public Participation

We have all heard the expression, "You can't fight city hall." But many citizens can and do regularly participate in their local government and are able to have real impacts on the outcomes of policy debates.

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Marijuana Producers, Processors, and Retailers - Where Will They Be Setting Up Shop?

Marijuana Producers, Processors, and Retailers - Where Will They Be Setting Up Shop?

March 5, 2013 by Jim Doherty
Category: Marijuana

It’s been almost four months since Washington voters passed Initiative 502 and directed our state to take a “new approach” to adult marijuana use: regulate and tax instead of prohibit. Are you, and your community, still in shock? Have some residents been telling you that they “certainly don’t want any such businesses locating anywhere in _____!!” – while at the same time potential marijuana...

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Curing a Violation of the Open Public Meetings Act?

Curing a Violation of the Open Public Meetings Act?

February 28, 2013 by Milt Rowland
Category: Open Public Meetings Act

What happens when a quorum of agency members have private discussions about matters pending before the agency for a vote? The easy answer is that such conversations violate the Open Public Meetings Act, chapter 42.30 RCW (or, the “OPMA”). If the agency members involved are aware that their actions violate...

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Meal and Rest Breaks for Public Employees

Meal and Rest Breaks for Public Employees

February 28, 2013 by Sofia D'Almeida Mabee
Category: Compensation , HR Advisor

There continues to be much confusion regarding meal and rest period obligations for public sector employees. Public employers in Washington State are required to provide meal and rest breaks for non-exempt employees (i.e., overtime-eligible employees.) However, unlike the situation for private employers, public employers can also have agreements with unions...

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Handling Vague and Complex Public Records Requests: Developing Your Plan of Attack

Handling Vague and Complex Public Records Requests: Developing Your Plan of Attack

February 28, 2013 by Sara Di Vittorio
Category: Open Government Advisor , Public Records Act

Have you ever seen a public records request that makes you scratch your head and think, "How am I going to respond to that?" Two public records officers from Snohomish County weigh in on strategies for dealing with seemingly impossible requests that are either too vague or too complex.

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